Biomedical Scinece and Research Journals | Bell’s Palsy: A Narrative Account of the Illness, and A Short Presentation of the Disease

Bell’s palsy [BP] is a rather common ailment, covered by an extensive literature, in the past decades imbued with the evidencebased medicine, with exclusive reference to diseases. The current revival of narrative medicine encourages a reconsideration of the illnesses. Our aim is to join and reconcile the two approaches. Hemifacial paresis had been observed and described since the antiquity but is currently named after Sir Charles Bell (1774– 1842) because he was the first to interpret it on solid neuroanatomical grounds. He published the narrative account of the illness in a letter from one of his correspondents and might have suffered it himself. 
What generally happens is that BP is the prima facie (literally) diagnosis for hemifacial, or peripheral seventh cranial nerve, paralysis On the morning of January 3, I first noticed a difficulty with the mouth wash, after tooth brushing, with the liquid drooling out of the mouth. A look at the mirror revealed that the left half of the face was flaccid and paralyzed: fewer wrinkles on the forehead, eye and mouth slanted, flattened nasolabial fold. Trying to change the mimic the asymmetry increased considerably, with no movements at all on the left. Recalling the anatomy, I had studied over 60 years earlier, I realized I had a paralysis of the left facial nerve (7th cranial), and I made the tentative diagnosis of BP.


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